Different Valency

Different Valency

The aptness of a word to appear in various combinations is described as its lexical valency or collocability. The lexical valency of correlated words in different languages is not identical. This is only natural since every language has its syntagmatic norms and patterns of lexical valency. Words, habitually collocated, tend to constitute a cliché, e.g. bad mistake, high hopes, heavy sea (rain, snow), etc. The translator is obliged to seek similar cliches, traditional collocations in the target-language: грубая ошибка, большие надежды, бурное море, сильный дождь /снег/.

The key word in such collocations is usually preserved but the collocated one is Different Valency rendered by a word of a somewhat different referential meaning in accordance with the valency norms of the target-language:

trains run - поезда ходят;

a fly stands on the ceiling - на потолке сидит муха;

It was the worst earthquake on the African continent (D.W.) - Это было самое сильное землетрясение в Африке.

Labour Party pretest followed sharply on the Tory deal with Spain (M.S.1973) - За сообщением о сделке консервативного правительства с Испанией немедленно последовал протест лейбористской партии.

Different collocability often calls for lexical and grammatical transformations in translation though each component of the collocation may Different Valency have its equivalent in Russian, e.g. the collocation "the most controversial Prime Minister" cannot be translated as «самый противоречивый премьер-министр».

"Britain will tomorrow be welcoming on an official visit one of the most controversial and youngest Prime Ministers in Europe" (The Times, 1970). «Завтра в Англию прибывает с официальным визитом один из самых молодых премьер-министров Европы, который вызывает самые противоречивые мнения».

"Sweden's neutral faith ought not to be in doubt" (Ib.) «Верность Швеции нейтралитету не подлежит сомнению».

The collocation "documentary bombshell" is rather uncommon and individual, but evidently it does not violate English collocational patterns, while the corresponding Different Valency Russian collocation - документальная бомба - impossible. Therefore its translation requires a number of transformations:

"A teacher who leaves a documentary bombshell lying around by negligence is as culpable as the top civil servant who leaves his classified secrets in a taxi" (The Daily Mirror, 1950) «Преподаватель, по небрежности оставивший на столе бумаги, которые могут вызвать большой скандал, не менее виновен, чем ответственный государственный служащий, забывший секретные документы в такси».


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